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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mark Malkoff Spends Month on AirTran to Overcome Fear of Flying

The fear of flying is a perfectly acceptable one (and there's nothing wrong with being afraid of rollercoasters, OKAY?). But life, often, is about overcoming fears. Which is exactly why Mark Malkoff, a 33-year-old comedian and filmmaker, is living on AirTran planes for the next thirty days: he wants out of the dark shadow of fear.

This isn't some publicity stunt either (as far as I can tell): Malkoff seems to legitimately want to get over this fear of flying ... how else can you reasonably explain him taking a shower in an airplane.

In fact, he's avoiding the airport, changing planes via the tarmac (the first hint that AirTran is obviously involved here) and doing push-ups and sprints in the aisles of the airplane for exercise.

Of course, my theory that he's not doing it as a publicity stunt could be shot down by the fact that he's Twittering/Facebooking the whole thing and has a website up about his experience:

However, in this day and age, if you do anything remotely resembling a 30-day excursion on a slew of various airplanes, you should probably consider creating a blog about the experience; it's the modern-day, electronic version of a journal, and there's always the chance that some PR firm (say, hypothetically, um, AirTran's???) could pick up on the experience and offer to cop you for the flights -- which, I would presume, is what the airline is doing in this case.

Mark's obviously no stranger to that experience either; he's done previous "projects" like "Mark Lives in IKEA" where he lived in an IKEA store for 30 days and "171 Starbucks" where he visited 171 Manhattan Starbucks in one day. So, yeah, he gets this viral stuff.

Plus, this is the type of story that everyone loves (hence this posting) and in a world where people get famous for doing stupid things on YouTube, there's always a free 15 minutes to be had out there -- it's pretty obvious that Malkoff figured out exactly how to get his.

(Picture via Mark's fantastic Flickr stream. If that's not cool, email me and I'll swap, sir.)